Into the Cold

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Click for availability and more information Into the Cold
Into the Cold is one of the most interesting DVDs I've seen in a long time. It chronicles the attempt by Sebastian Copeland and Keith Heger to recreate the epic trip by Admiral Byrd to the North Pole in 1909. Copeland and Heger undergo rigorous physical training in Duluth, Minnesota, to acclimatize themselves. Sponsors have to be lined up, and once everything is ready to go, they pack up and fly to a remote location to begin the journey. They undertake the 400-mile trip across the frozen ice cap across the desolate, but somehow beautiful, Antarctic "desert" with a 300lb sled containing enough food for 6 weeks. The pair burn 7,000 calories apiece per day as they aim to travel about 13 miles per day. They have to contend with brutally cold temperatures (-45 degrees F), cutting winds and overcast skies, which reduce everything to a white landscape. The sun never sets, but hangs just above the horizon. I was struck by the fact that once you reach the geographic North Pole, no matter what direction you head in, you're headed south! Their isolation gives them the opportunity to turn inward and reflect on their spirituality. Yet, they still rely on technology in the form of cellphones and tablets to keep in touch with the outside world. Copeland laments that this might be the last time such a trip can be undertaken as the polar ice cap is melting due to global warming.

They encounter many challenges in the form of rubble areas and pressure ridges (which create big hills of ice blocks), water breaks (which force them to alter their course) and arctic drift (which moves them slowly south away from the Pole.) Copeland points out that the massive power at work in the ice and water could be tapped for renewable energy.

The film is masterfully done. Copeland does a great job narrating the journey, and the photography is exceptional. You really feel like you're there with them. As Copeland points out, it's one of the last true frontiers on earth. Unless man takes immediate action, this environment (and ecosystem) may be lost forever.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on May 13, 2013 6:18 PM.

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